In collaboration with the Tanzania National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

News from the IAS conference

This year, the International AIDS Society (IAS) conference took place in Washington, DC, within walking distance of the White House and Capitol Hill. It was a historical event for two reasons: after 22 years, IAS returned to the United States because President Obama's administration lifted the ban preventing HIV-positive people from entering the US and this was the first large conference to declare an end to the AIDS epidemic.  

As Hilary Clinton explained, HIV may be with us for a long time into the future, but the disease that HIV causes, AIDS, need not be with us. In an AIDS-free generation, virtually no child anywhere will be born with the virus. As children and teenagers become adults, they will be at significantly lower risk of ever becoming infected than they would be today no matter where they are living. And, if someone does acquire HIV, they will have access to treatment that helps prevent them from developing AIDS and passing the virus on to others.

Clinton's tools to achieve an AIDS-free generation are more patients accessing HIV therapy, combination prevention efforts including circumcision, and stronger activities to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Towards achieving this, she announced four specific new funding programs:
- $80 million investment to investigate and support innovative approaches to ensuring women who are diagnosed with HIV get access to treatment programs and ART.
- $15 million program in implementation research to identify specific interventions for higher risk groups.
- $20 million challenge fund to support country-led plans to expand services.
- $2 million fund to promote and strengthen civil society institutions.

Clinton also announced new U.S. Government partnerships with Walgreens (to promote adherence) and Medscape (to promote education). Lastly, Clinton announced that Dr. Eric Goosby will be releasing a blueprint by World AIDS Day in December 2012 outlining the future directions for PEPFAR and the U.S. national response.
The conference was attended by Saidi Kapiga, Datsun Matungwa, Aika Mongi, Gerry Mshana, Joyce Wamoyi, Debby Watson-Jones, and Basia Zaba from NIMR-MITU.

Clinton's speech can be found at http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/07/195355.htm